Steel Panther are out to “bring heavy metal back” with their latest release Heavy Metal Rules, showing the world that hair metal still has a place in the world.
Rockers Steel Panther immediately jump into the LP with their customary “don’t-give-a-f***” attitude. “Zebraman” kicks off the album with a line with a quote taken from “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” (1986) – “Heavy metal rules, all that punk shit sucks. It doesn’t belong in this world, it belongs on f***ing Mars, man. What the Hell is punk shit?” – before launching into heavy riffs and a quick tempo in “All I Wanna Do Is F*** (Myself Tonight), laying out the tone for the rest of the full-length. Throughout the listen, they maintain consistency with their brand as lead vocalist Michael Starr sings of sex, drugs and a plethora of debauchery.
The backing tracks for the group’s fifth full-length are to die for. “Always Gonna Be A Ho” begins with a sweet acoustic before hardy electrics join in at the chorus. “F*** Everybody” is ironically empowering. It contains a danceable beat and constant reminder to “f*** everybody” else’s opinions and to live your best life.
The title track for the record begins with a lone piano key keeping tempo behind vocals, before making a thunderous shift into the main tune. Consisting of hard hits and hot takes, the LA-based quartet unabashedly proclaims their love of metal with a straight forward line: “Heavy metal rules and everybody else can suck my dick.” Whether they’re singing truth in “Gods Of P***y” is impossible to know, but the skill behind the lead guitar is impeccable as Satchel’s fingers drift along the fretboard with ease.
Concluding with a vibe unseen on the previous nine tracks, “I Ain’t Buyin’ What You’re Selling” is a lullaby. A keyboard and lone guitar make up the only support for Starr as he croons of his strength in self-care methods without the need of religion, government or medicine. The song ended the LP on a light note because even a heavy metal band needs to cleanse their hard-edged palette.
Though some may think it vulgar and absurd, Heavy Metal Rules is a tongue-in-cheek product built from the four piece’s past 19 years together. Not always seen as the heroes, Steel Panther are irrevocably themselves, uncaring about the public’s opinion as they continue to tout their signature humor and parody in their latest release.
Heavy Metal Rules is out today.